Monday, September 14, 2009

Independence days and a bit of a rant

Ok, I'm irritated. Whatever happened to politeness in our society? Not just refraining from talking on your cell at all hours and in all places, but the 'be kind to your neighbor' kind of politeness. And I'm using neighbor in the broadest terms.
As many of you who read here know. I now do a rather complicated commute to and from work, involving V driving me to/from the bus stop and 2 different public transportation systems. Oh, the city bus system isn't bad. There are the usual 'loud high schoolers' on their way home from school but they're for the most part harmless- and really not that loud. Where I have the problem is with the University students- since I also use the campus bus system to get from downtown to the hospital and vice versa. This afternoon on my way home the bus was crowded, nearly standing room only. I got on and moved all the way to the back of the bus where there were still a few seats. All the seats near the front door were filled with young students. Now don't get me wrong, I don't expect to be accommodated for my advanced age of 47, I can and will stand on the bus if necessary. What steamed me was this: A middle aged guy boarded the bus at the stop after I got on. He was obviously disabled in some way, he walked with a cane and didn't appear to have very good balance as he tried to pull his wheeled bag up the bus steps. Did any of those young, able bodied students offer him their seat? Even when the sign posted above the seats specified that these seats are reserved for the elderly and/or disabled. NO! This poor guy held onto the overhead bar with both hands trying not to fall over. Had the driver been more aware he may have had someone move (my regular city bus driver certainly would have) but then he wasn't any older than they were.
I really don't ask for or expect much from others. We lived downtown amongst the students for 15 years, putting up with the occasional drunken parties and vandalism. What has happened to common civility? I really hope that my children would be more considerate in that situation. Maybe I'll have to be sure I talk to them about it sometime.
Anyway- enough for my rant. I'm tired and cranky. I didn't sleep well last night and had a busy day at work. I'm hoping to take two days off the end of the week and V and I are going to rip out an exterior wall in the house to do repairs. Oh, the fun we have....
But on to today's usual posting topic: Independence Days.
1. Plant something- nope, but I did start saving seeds for next year. And V and I have been talking about clearing the garden and covering it with plastic to hopefully kill some weed seeds and maybe some blight. We're also planning some raised beds for the barnyard for next year.
2. Harvest something- Lets see...a few lonely tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, a few green beans, tomatillos and- get this- broccoli! Yep, the broccoli that I planted WAAAY last spring. There was one plant that was kind of a runt and didn't do anything all summer. I didn't bother to rip it out and just left it go and honestly, forgot about it. When we went out last week to dig potatoes- I discovered that it had finally grown and was producing a head. So this week, it was ready and Oh, boy, it was good!
3. Preserve something- Canned tomatoes and spiced pears, made peach/pear salsa and blanched and froze eggplant.
4. Waste not- the usual 3 R's and cloth bags at the store (most of the time). Composted- but we're thinking about moving our compost pile farther from the barn. We're worried that it will attract critters to inhabit the barn. I'm not sure if we will move everything that is there or just stop contributing to that spot. I'd really like to construct a bin system rather than just having a pile on the ground but that may need to wait for a bit until we have more time.
5. Want not- Stocked up on canning lids and a few more jars (they were on sale new with a mail in rebate!) We're trying to get a move on house repairs to keep the rodent population down in the house this winter. We caught one last night in the pantry (I had suspected it was there) and the pantry is right across from the wall we need to repair. It's the area where there was lots of water damage that was covered up rather than repaired long ago so now the wood is rotted and we're thinking we'll have to replace not only the siding but the sheathing, studs and mudsill as well. V thinks the mice may be living in the rotted mudsill and climbing out into the house on occasion. We need to protect those food stores!
6. Community food systems- I participated in the seed saving workshop sponsored by the food co-op and the Field to Family program on Saturday morning. It was rather disappointing that there were only about 10 people there. But then, it was at the same time as the Iowa/Iowa State game. I also was involved in a pie sale on Sunday morning at our church. I baked pies Saturday night and we sold pies on Sunday morning. We had lots of people donate pies -we had over 30 pies! And at $2 per slice or $14 for a whole pie, we made over $550 that will be donated to the emergency fund at the Community Crisis Center. It was fun- but I ate too much sugar yesterday, with a combination of pie in the morning and dessert at the baby shower later in the afternoon- so I felt kind of icky overnight and most of the day today. I need to work more on the next category and not eat so much junk this week.
7. Eat the food- We had a lovely local meal last night. One of our wonderful grass fed steaks, roasted veggies (mostly home grown) and tomatoes. We even had a bottle of local wine to go with it. Tonight I discovered some green beans in the garden. I was out wandering, thinking about pulling out everything in that area (there are a lot of weeds!) when I discovered that there were beans. And here I thought they had stopped producing awhile ago. It just goes to show that the garden can always surprise you.
My goal for the week is to try to cut out refined sugar in my diet. Not that I eat that much but there's plenty. I've discovered that it really affects how I feel physically. And I need to start pulling together ideas for October.
Ideas for October, you may ask? J15 has decided to participate this year (again) in Vegetarian Awareness Month. And she has asked me to be her 'veggie buddy' at home. She has a friend at school who is going to also participate. So for a month she and I will be going veg. Not that we eat a ton of meat anyway but it means more creativity to have a meat and meatless option at several meals a week since the guys aren't going to go veg- even though we have at least one vegetarian day per week anyway. J15 is really worried about what to do at school. I think she's going to have to pack her lunch for the month since there aren't too many veggie options for school lunch. sigh.


  1. Rudeness continues to amaze me as well, it seems I witness something every time I venture out of my home! The other day at the library an elderly lady dropped 2 books from her stack on the sidewalk, and 2 "20-somethings" walked right on by. What was sad was that my 6 year old felt he had to ask me if it was okay he picked up the books for her - apparently after watching "adults" walk by without helping, it gave him doubt as to the right thing to do. He picked them up, even put them in the return slot for her and she thanked him so profusely that he was embarassed, lol! On the vegan front, if you still have eggplant, make some Baba Ganoush! We had it the other night with pita bread and it was's about the only thing I do with it since I have found I am not overly fond of the beautiful vegetable, lol!

  2. Don't you just want to shout at rude people sometimes? Golden rule apparently isn't taught at home or in schools anymore :-( There might have been some peer pressure in the bus situation too. Don't want to look like you respect anyone at that age.

  3. I spent nearly a year recovering from a knee surgery and riding the rival bus system up in Ames. I could probably count how many times someone gave up their seat for a guy with a leg brace and crutches on one hand. It's very sad. I think it is all to blame on us parents and I hope that my daughter will not become one of those people.

  4. The rudeness is just plain sad (unfortunately not surprising...)

    I am in one of the rudest places I have ever visited (LA), but I am finding if I smile my little Midwestern smile and say "Hi" the people melt (completely amazing!)

    I wanted to tell you I cut refined sugars (actually all sugars for three weeks-even fructose-to stabilize my blood sugar) and I do feel sooo much better. I was completely adicted and it was getting to a point where that was all I wanted. It was very difficult (especially no fruit or sweets!), but after 3-4 days I no longer craved sugar any more. Now I am adding back fructose and eventually I am adding back the "natural" sugars (e.g. maple sugar, agave, fructose, stevia-well, I can have stevia in moderation now).


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